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Makadi Bay is an important resort town located some 25 miles/40 kilometers south of Hurghada. Known for its crystal-clear and sheltered waters, it has 15 seafront hotels, all of them giving access to shallow reefs. The northern shores of Makadi Bay feature good snorkeling, both above the small reefs facing Fort Arabesque Beach or along the northern drop-off area. In these areas, you will come across a myriad of colorful fish and invertebrates living in a shimmering underwater landscape.

Encounter with a Sohal surgeonfish at Makadi Jetty (itinerary 2 on the map).
Encounter with a Sohal surgeonfish at Makadi Jetty (itinerary 2 on the map).

How to get to the Makadi Bay North snorkeling spot

Makadi Bay is located about 25 miles/40 kilometers south of the city of Hurghada and 18 miles/30 kilometers south of the airport. This spot covers a mile-long coral reef that fringes the northern shore of Makadi Bay. It includes the house reef of the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, which is one of the large resorts bordering Makadi Bay.

The easiest way to access this spot is to stay at one of the resorts located along the northern shore of the bay: the Sunrise Resort, the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, the Grand Waterworld Makadi, the Makadi Spa Hotel, or the Grand Makadi. The Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas has the best house reef with beach access. You can also access the reef from the jetty at the northern limit of the resort area (see Makadi Móló on the map below).

North Makadi Bay snorkeling map
Makadi Bay North snorkeling map. Links to nearby locations: Makadi Bay West and Makadi Bay South.

Water entrance for snorkeling Makadi Bay North reef

The water entrance is:

  1. From the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas beach: To explore the snorkeling area 1 on the map above, look for entry points marked by buoys. The buoys indicate the gaps in the reef flat that allow snorkelers to reach the outer reef without damaging the coral. Beach staff is strict about enforcing the use of these entry points rather than trying to pick one’s way across the flat.
  2. From the jetty called Makadi Móló: Located at the northern limit of the resort area, this entry allows you to snorkel the itinerary 2 on the map. Opening hours 10 am to 4 pm.

Makadi Bay North reef snorkeling exploration tips

There are two main snorkeling areas at Makadi Bay North.

1. The Fort Arabesque House Reef (snorkeling area 1 on the map).

Starting from the shore, you will first cross the shallow reef flat that fringes the beach. Over 40 meters wide, the bottoms are not spectacular, but you can see many small fish at very shallow depths (↕1-3 feet/0.5-1 meter).

Bluecheek butterflyfish at Makadi Bay
A bluecheek butterflyfish at Makadi Bay – Fort Arabesque house reef (snorkeling area 1).

After the shallow reef, you will come to a deeper area. This is the best snorkeling location. Here, dozens of small reefs are scattered on the sandy bottom. Reef tops are in two feet or so of water and each ‘mini-reef’ drops off to between 6-20 feet/2-6 meters.

The best-preserved reefs are covered with magnificent corals in pink, yellow and bluish tones. Close to shore, the coral is inevitably affected by the movement of people, but a little further out it is in remarkably good health. This healthy coral is a testament to the efforts of the hotel to educate people on how to respect the reefs.

Regal angelfish at Makadi Bay
A couple of regal angelfish at Fort Arabesque’s reef (snorkeling area 1).

Reefs are like an I-spy book of Red Sea fishes. There is a large variety of these fish and they are fairly used to snorkelers. The butterflies are very inquisitive. Amongst the most common fish species at reef are the sulphur damselfish, the regal angelfish, the bluecheek butterflyfish, the Red Sea bannerfish, and several species of parrotfish.

When exploring the small reefs, you may also have the chance to surprise a moray eel, an octopus, a lionfish, or a ray. In total, more than a hundred reef fish species live in Makadi Bay shore waters.

2. Drift snorkeling along the northern fringing reef (snorkel itinerary 2 on the map)

Advanced snorkelers can consider entering the water from Makadi jetty and drift snorkeling all the way to Fort Arabesque beach (1 mile/1.6 kilometer).

The reef drop off at Makadi Bay.
The reef drop-off at Makadi Bay (snorkel itinerary 2).

While the reef is larger here, the reef flat can’t be snorkeled as it is too shallow. Follow the drop-off to your right and you will observe an incredible diversity of sea life.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

This spot is the house reef of the Fort Arabesque Resort, Spa & Villas, which offers different types of accommodation and several restaurants and bars.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20ft/7m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach or a jetty
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree for the guests of the bay's resorts
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.